The mountainous district of Bac Ai in Ninh Thuan Province, south-central Vietnam has been certified as eligible to ship its grapefruits to the United States through official channels.
Dang Kim Cuong, director of the Ninh Thuan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said on Thursday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture had issued a code to the district’s grapefruit cultivation area, which is 23 hectares.
The code will be valid from June 22, he added.
“Grapefruit is the first agricultural product in Ninh Thuan Province to be approved and granted a code for export to the U.S. via official channels,” Cuong said.
Ninh Thuan’s Sub-Department of Cultivation and Plant Protection is in charge of closely monitoring the grapefruit growing area to ensure eligibility for export to the U.S., according to the Plant Protection Department under the ministry.
The supervision result must be sent to the Plant Protection Department within 90 days before the next harvest season begins to make it a foundation to maintain the validity of the code.
Pham Dung, head of the sub-department, said that an area code, or an identification code is meant to monitor and control the production, quality, and origin traceability of farm produce.
Securing such a code will facilitate the shipment of agricultural products via official channels, Dung stated.
Vo Khanh Khang, head of the Agriculture and Rural Development Division in Bac Ai District, said that Phuoc Binh Commune boasts favorable climate and soil to grow the green-skin grapefruit, which is considered the locale’s key crop.
Bac Ai District has 235 hectares for grapefruit cultivation, with Phuoc Binh Commune alone accounting for 192 hectares of the total.
Over the past few years, the commune’s administration asked farmers to apply organic grapefruit-farming methods.
As such, the issuance of an area code for Phuoc Binh grapefruits by the U.S. side demonstrated the enhanced efforts from farmers and the province’s agriculture agencies, smoothing the path for other farming products to enter the global market, said Khanh.